Britain: Some people are born a success, say scientists who have shown that much of our predisposition towards determination, sociability and self-control and sense of purpose is in our genes.

In fact, our DNA plays a bigger role in influencing these traits than our upbringing and the company we keep.

Taken together, these facets of personality can make the difference between success and failure, said the Edinburgh University researchers.
For the study, they questioned more than 800 pairs of twins about their attitudes to life to tease apart the influences of nature and nurture.

Comparing identical twins, who share all their DNA and their upbringing, with non-identical twins, who have a shared background but are no more genetically alike than other siblings, is a technique often used by researchers to quantify the influence of genetics.

The results, published in the Journal of Personality, revealed genes to play a much bigger role than lifestyle, with self-control particularly etched into our DNA.

Our genes also largely determine how determined and persistent we are. This is important in terms of success, as someone who refuses to give up is more likely to achieve their dreams than someone who throws in the towel at the first hiccough.

“Ever since the ancient Greeks, people have debated the nature of a good life and the nature of a virtuous life,” Professor Timothy Bates said.

“Why do some people seem to manage their lives, have good relationships and cooperate to achieve their goals while others do not?
“Previously, the role of family and the environment around the home often dominated people’s ideas about what affected psychological well-being. However, this work highlights a much more powerful influence from genetics,” he stated.


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